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She just writes

sometime in the last few months i had the strangest of dreams. though i have known for years that my dreams are a degree of bizarre beyond what is expected, this was unlike any other dreaming experience i have had before.

in short, i found myself passenger on a scooty as we were chased and shot at by a bike following us. the driver was hit and slumped so i did my best to get us to the hospital. upon getting there, i realized i too had been shot…in the back of my head. i asked someone for help, and then i found a quiet space where i could lie down.

then, i died.

i couldn’t say if the moment lasted split seconds or a lifetime, but i had sensations unlike anything else i’ve ever known in the dream world or any other worlds. i experienced dying, in my mind, as i slept and dreamt. the closest way i’ve been able to relay what it felt like is to refer to the discombobulated awareness of waking up from a fainting spell. the strange disconnect between body and mind, and a self that exists elsewhere.

but the strangest detail of all is that i not only experienced dying, i died from a bullet shot by no other than myself.

more than anything, curiosity led me to seek any viable interpretations. i found a handful of theories but one stood out above the others–the death of the old self. many suggested this is a symbolic death of who a person used to be. intrigued i thought little else of it expect that even in my dream, even in dying, i felt peace.

over dinner last night, in retelling the dream, it occurred to me that i have indeed changed. that i have a shed a shell. that i have grown, and learned, and am emerging into more of who i aspire to be. finally. finally. finally.

finally. finally. finally.

years of frustration, of perceived stagnancy, of doubt, of severe inadequacy are slowing finding their way into my past, and are now (mostly) behind me. as for the future, i am keen and open to what it may bring, i now have direction, ambition, and this time…i am equipped with a plan.

i am, according to many, an anomaly to contend with. this society is more prone to condemn based on appearances. a woman i happen to be, a “she”, (a clearly lesser “he”). yet i don’t walk with my head down and i make no apology for my breasts, my tis, my ass, or my punani. i can’t submit to the ever so long and tedious list of what i should be. hear my apology, it’s not because i think myself above…or below, i simply see the should be of equality.

yes, i wear my hair so short (oh how could she?!) but it does nothing to take away from my femininity. damn your notions of my beauty. and so my nose isn’t pierced where patriarchal tyranny says it need be. i will not let my face or accessories trap me into caste or creed. i am, female, yes. i am, nepali. but surely, this being carried around this body is more than a concept of gender, more than a specific shade of passport green.

but you ask me to ponder over “who am i”, and the truth is, i was lost in the vagueness of that proposition. but that is only until i realized…it was not a question, i know myself in certainties. i know myself as I AM oh. so. many. things.

i am trail and error. i am ever learning. i am presence. i am compassion and empathy. i am faith and good will. i am flawed and so faulted—it can’t be helped, but i am hoping to wise up, to avoid the redundancy of mistakes. the redundancy of heartache. of pain. of the wrong kind of grief. perhaps, more than destination, i am journey.

i am boxed by the clothes i wear, by the lilt on my tongue, but so many little nuances that betray one concrete nationality. but that isn’t to say i am not without an identity. i am travel and movement and time and change. i am thought. i am, brief, temporary. i am struggle and conflict, love and apathy, paradox and conundrum living in harmony. i am the complexity of every being. i am with purpose even if there is no beginning and i am without meaning until whatever the end.

i am you. i am me. i am.

i am a dream.

yesterday i found myself in a teary state. every now and then i remember the farewells that await me and immediately my stomach sinks and a dampness take to my eyes.

how many times i have done my hellos and goodbyes i wouldn’t know. i must have lost count so many years ago. and yet in having done this time and time again, my heart does not seem to have found a way to endure this with any more ease.

often the biggest joy i am able to feel is in reunions. when friends apart for years are in my arms and we can share tears of sheer joy, of being in the company of each other again. to catch up, to laugh, to find ourselves connecting and loving each other like we have always done. for those moments i am in a constant period of waiting.

i am permanently always away from someone i desperately love. and just when i think it’s all okay, i’m thrown back into this emotional state. in recent months i found myself blessed to be with those from a very different part of my life. regardless of the roads we took, our connection remained unchanged and it takes seeing people again to realize just how much you’re missing when you’re not with them.

my heart and my head have yet to recover from the brutal separation of time and continents and i find myself having to prepare for two farewells, both of which i espeically dread.

soon, i’ll say another “see you later” to someone who has been my anchor and my compass although i rarely give due credit. how does one capture the nuances of siblinghood? the brutality with which we can hurt each other, and the ease with which we can forgive. the secrets we know and the secrets we share. the experiences which are uniquely both ours. to find myself away from this has become more normal than being in the same place. somehow i find myself more of a child in this case as opposed to growing older and wiser. i am not looking forward to this.

and then, only a week after, i dread to think of what all it will be that i feel. a deep sadness over having to see off someone who has amazed me every single day. it will not be easy to let go of such a beautiful soul–the kind that we’re not willing to believe in anymore as we grow older and more cynical. and yet, someone i dared not piece together in my dreams or imagination has been a very real part of me and my life for the better portion of this year.

knowing you’ll have to say goodbye doesn’t make it any easier or any harder. wanting to avoid the aches and pains doesn’t make it any less real. doesn’t make it any better. the only comfort i know is knowing that for these select few, it’s undoubtedly worth it. for all the tears i know i will cry, i wouldn’t change a thing. not with her, and most certainly not with him. this is what love is.

meanwhile in the real world, i’ve been learning, again, that i still have so much to learn. i am happy–this is important–more happy than i’ve been in a long time. i feel well, and healthy. and perhaps it’s because of that frame of mind i think it’s a good time to address things. difficult things. things i’d rather not think about. things better to brush under the rug.

this is not as noble as it may appear. it took prodding. and tears. a lot of tears. conversations aren’t easy. vulnarability requires uncredited bravery. even when i think i’m communicating well i can see the meaning of my words change when they reach intended ears. there is no bigger frustration than not being able to present, and see, from each other’s perspective.

i try, but maybe i’m just a bad student. not so quick to learn certain things that should be…so…easy. but just aren’t. jagged little edges. raw. and sore. always sore.

but like i said, i’m happy. and as cheesy as it sounds, i’m happy with who i am. who i am becoming. how i am becoming more…me. the individual i’m intended to be. i have found the very best kind of love–something easy and deep, simple and true, friend and lover–all rolled perfectly into one, and i am stunned. and humbled. and i am grateful. so so so grateful. to have that, and the support of friends, and the unconditional love of family. (maybe it’s true, maybe i don’t feel worthy.)

i am coming into different perspectives, changed beliefs, altered views. and it’s good. it adds depth and breadth to everything. my mind feels widened…and i am growing (this is also important!). through all of it, i am trying. bit by bit. trying to listen more. listen better. learn well. learn over, and over again.

i wanted to make note of that. of this. to have it marked somewhere–this time where i am coming into balance. finding equilibrium. at peace. and loved. so loved. and loved, so well.

happy and content. content and happy.

i did not think, even now, in my happiness, that you could hurt me like this.
i had thought i was drifting away, from the anger, from the pain, from the betrayal, and from those lies.

those lies. those lies. those lies.

but when you know me so well, you know at which points i break.
and when you said, so clearly, you simply just didn’t like me

i fell back and again, you left me floored. gutted. spilled.
and even though i didn’t think i had any tears left for you,
i cried, and i cried. and i cried.

you’re good you said, but your personality…
and i am shaken, because it was that very self
that once loved you so well, that loved you so deep

it is the very self you hate now
who i have come to love, to accept.
i have found confidence, assurance,
myself, i cherish.

it is the same me you wrote to say you were afraid to lose from your life entirely.
but i suppose that too was a lie. it would have to be.
if your intention was to hurt so completely, you succeed.

even now, i think about spring fires on mountain tops
and where once there was magic and warmth
here on out, those memories burn.
and you with it.

she was birth of age
the screams of her life led
and lost in the screams of others

she arrived, fists shaking
to the rhythm of the walls
and the sway of the ground

blood spilling, flesh splitting
in the pain of life
and the terror of death

born into rubble
breathing in dust
her first home,
her final resting place.